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Introduction Urban kinship: the micro-politics of proximity andrelatedness in African cities
The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3114-4018
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2022-6985
2018 (English)In: Africa, ISSN 0001-9720, Vol. 88, no S1, p. S1-S11Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

African cities have long been perceived as emblematic of the vibrancy and contradictions that characterize public spheres in an African context – from breathtaking monuments of wealth and oppression to overwhelming destitution and despair; from vibrant market places and artistic expression to dilapidated infrastructures and rampant criminality. Through depictions of the hectic pace of different forms of movement – from the inner-city traffic that seems to be buzzing even in the midst of a complete standstill to public protests and food riots – African cities become lenses through which social and political life is assessed and synthesized; a canvas on which national politics and global inequalities are laid bare, for all to see. Indeed, the visual has long been the preferred prism for documenting and evoking the dynamism and decay of urban Africa. Many of these dualities hold some truths but have also contained the enduring simplifications of prejudice and exoticization. The ‘urban jungle’ is easily seen as the continent’s true Heart of Darkness; a pre-conceptualized dystopia (Robinson 2010); a micro-cosmos of the most frightening and fascinating facets of primitive humanity. This special issue challenges such simplifications by emphasizing everyday sociality, and by giving priority to the narratives and practices of urban residents themselves.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. Vol. 88, no S1, p. S1-S11
Keyword [en]
urban, africa, anthropology, neighbourhood, kinship, proximity, relatedness
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nai:diva-2197DOI: 10.1017/S0001972017001115OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nai-2197DiVA, id: diva2:1195154
Available from: 2018-04-04 Created: 2018-04-04 Last updated: 2018-04-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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